I spent the last few days watching youtube videos about people who weigh three and four hundred even eight hundred pounds it’s no secret that America is getting fatter, it’s estimated that sixty four percent of americans are overweight with about half of those being clinically obese even childhood obesity is skyrocketing and now one in three children is over weight.

So clearly most of us are struggling with weight gain and we’re struggling against a food industry that seems dedicated to selling us more crappy foods. A quick look at obesity rates in this country might help explain why we would recommend that we eat more like our grandparents.

Prior to the 1950s, less than ten percent of Americans were obese and that rate increased steadily until the 1980s when we saw a pretty steep increase in obesity.  At this point the obesity rate is three times higher than it was just fifty years ago so what’s so different about the way the grandma ate when she was our age and the way we’re eating now Let’s take a look.

Grandma ate real food and that was prepared in a kitchen but most modern processed foods are actually created in a laboratory by scientists. A quick look at the back of the food label will tell you whether that food is made of food or is made of chemicals things like monosodium glutamate (MSG) high fructose corn syrup polydimethylsiloxane, brominated vegetable oil, EDTA, TBHQ, most of these chemicals didn’t even exist when your grandma was your age.

Now this rules out all the fast food the processed food junk foods just add water instant meals or microwave meals but it doesn’t necessarily rule out bread pasta hamburgers pizza french fries or any of the foods that you really want to eat. You just have to make sure that they’re actually made of real foods and were prepared in a kitchen rather than in a laboratory by scientists.

Grandma’s food mostly came from her own backyard or maybe her neighbor’s backyard but most modern foods travel anywhere from thirteen hundred to five thousand miles from the farm to your table.

Grandma may have every once in a while gotten to enjoy some food that someone brought to her or maybe the milkman had to travel thirty or forty miles to make his delivery but most modern foods are traveling significantly larger distances and most people aren’t eating foods that were grown locally.In 1870 one hundred percent of the apples consumed in iowa were grown in Iowa, but in 1999 only fifteen percent of the apples consumed in Iowa were actually grown in iowa.

The nutritional content of a food decreases over time and it decreases significantly when foods travel a significantly long distance. in many cases chemicals are even used to preserve the foods.

Grandma’s food came out of her oven or maybe she ate them right out of the dirtbut most modern processed foods come out of drive-through windows cardboard boxes plastic wrap or even electronics snack-dispensing robots close to one hundred percent.

The food that grandma ate when she was your age, she actually had to cook and prepare herself, maybe she was lucky enough to have someone else do the cooking, but the point is that if most of the figure eating is coming out of a microwave or plastic container and you’re not feeling particularly vibrant and healthy, then that could be your problem and if your mouth is gaping open at the thought of having to actually cook, then you need to snap out of it.

Millions of people are doing it right now in most of them aren’t as fat as we are and millions of people have survived exclusively on cooking their own food before us so just suck it up. Grandma wasn’t exposed to hundreds of food advertisements day after day,  but we endure temptation after temptation every time we turn on the TV walk down the street or even go out to a ball game.

Next time you’re watching tv, count how many commercials you see for junk foods or restaurants, and pay attention to what kind of foods there featuring in those advertisements. Chances are most of those foods didn’t even exist when your grandma was your age once.

I started becoming aware of how relentless their marketing is and how much they assumed that i would just be a “good little overeating consumer” it became a lot easier for me to recognize those temptations and consciously divert my attention.

Grandma only ate when she was hungry or when she could afford food, depending on her situation, but in 2000 americans were eating an average of five hundred calories more than they were eating in the 1960s, and that fact alone can explain the obesity epidemic.

But why are we eating so much more food? Of course, there are a lot of different factors like the temptations I mentioned earlier but we should also remember that junk and processed foods are full of empty calories and that means these are calories that turn straight into fat, but they’re not going to fill you up, they’re not going to leave you satisfied, and you’re going to be hungry again pretty shortly after eating them.

Grandma got a workout preparing her food. Whether she was milking cows, churning butter or working in the garden all day, she was burning a whole lot more calories than we do walking to and from the car, or handing our credit card to the cashier.

The farther back in time, you go the more physical labor was required just for everyday survival dishwashers, microwaves and other modern conveniences are convenient, but the lack of physical exercise is certainly taking its toll.

Whether you take up gardening or just try to cook more meals at home, there’s an added bonus that you’re going to be burning some calories in the process cooking at home,  can even be a fun family activity too where you get the kids involved in helping you cook and even helping you clean.

Grandma ate her food at a table. I’m being pretty presumptuous here, because I don’t really know where your grandma ate her food, but I do know that she didn’t eat in a car, or while sitting on a counch in front of a television or computer screen. It’s likely that most households ate meals together and chances are they actually sat at at table.The point here is to actually sit down and relax while you eat your meal, eating while you’re stressed out or while you’re multitasking or running, errands can literally cause you to gain more weight.

When you’re stressed out, your body is releasing cortisol and cortisol inhibits digestion, so if you can actually sit down relax enjoy your meal, you’re not only more likely to feel full and satisfied afterwards, but it’s also going to help you digest that food better and it’s going to contribute to you not being such a fat ass.

Grandma was a meal planner and chances are she had more than just one mouth to feed. She was constantly in a state of preparing food and thinking of what she was going to serve everybody, and she’s probably kind of a ninja of meal planning, it became so subconscious that she really didn’t even have to think about it, that much the point here is that most of us eat whatever we drive past or whatever we see we have tons and tons of junk food at our beck.